A sensor system installed in sewers can detect the illegal release of toxic wastewater and expose criminal polluters.
Developed by a team from Fraunhofer in cooperation with the microMole project, the sensor consists of three rings each able to detect physical and chemical contaminants and equipped with a communication and control system. The rings are located in different areas in the sewer downstream from the business in question, where they form an alert system if contaminants are detected. If both of the first two rings suspect illegal pollution, the third ring will be triggered to activate and test for specific pollutants—alerting the authorities if necessary and saving a sample as evidence. The sensor rings will also reset automatically if no pollutants are detected.